Learn how Easy it is to Paper Piece a Quilt Block (Foundation Piecing)

Paper Pieced Quilt Block - fb

This tutorial shows how to paper piece which is also known as foundation piecing. Perfect points and angles are so much easier to do by using this quilting technique.

Paper piecing is used for making easy flying geese blocks.  Your flying geese blocks will always have perfect points using paper piecing!

There are many paper piecing patterns available for free all around the internet.  Some are even Fandom paper piecing projects which can create some really fun quilts.  Look near the end of this article for some photos of paper pieced blocks we have done from Fandom Harry Potter and Star Wars patterns.  

Watch our video and read the instructions below to learn how to do it.

Watch our Video Below or Click the link to watch Learn how Easy it is to Paper Piece a Quilt Block (Foundation Piecing) in Youtube.

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  • Use a larger sewing machine needle (size 90/14)
  • Use a smaller stitch length of 15 to 18 stitches per inch
  • Stitching will be done on the printed side of the pattern starting with #1 and continuing in numeric order
  • Fabric is placed on the unprinted side
  • When cutting fabric to cover a section, a general rule is: Bigger is Better

Paper Pieced Quilt Block


  • Rotary Cutter
  • Rotary Mat
  • Paper for Foundation Patterns
  • Add-A-Quarter Ruler



Print or copy the paper piecing pattern on foundation paper.  We like using the Papers In Foundation Piecing Paper found through the link.  This paper is lighter weight than normal printer paper but can still be used in an inkjet or another printer.  Using a lighter weight paper is recommended as it's easier to remove later. Foundation Paper Piecing Tutorial - Pattern Sample


Cut the first piece of fabric for #1 larger than the area to cover. Make sure you have allowed enough for seam allowances. This fabric piece is placed with the wrong side of the fabric against the back of the paper.  Place it over the #1 space on the pattern, covering the entire area.  If the piece is next to the seam allowance, be sure to cover the entire seam allowance also. On the printed side of the paper, pin the fabric place.Foundation Paper Piecing Tutorial - Place First Fabric


Take the straight edge of the add-a-quarter ruler along the line between #1 & #2 numbered sections and fold the paper back.Foundation Paper Piecing Tutorial - Fold Paper

Now place the lip of the add-a-quarter ruler along the fold and trim the excess fabric.  This makes the seam allowance 1/4". Foundation Paper Piecing Tutorial - Trim Fabric


Cut the second piece of fabric large enough to cover #2 including enough for any seam allowance. Again make sure it extends well beyond the area to be covered.  If the seam is angled, you will need an even larger piece.  Practice folding back the fabric along the seam line to see if it will cover the whole #2 section. Foundation Paper Piecing Tutorial - Measure Next Fabric

With right sides together, place the edge of the fabric along the previously cut edge. Pinning it in place is optional.Foundation Paper Piecing Tutorial - Place 2nd fabric


With printed side up, place it under sewing machine foot and stitch, beginning stitching one or two stitches before the sewing line and end with one or two stitches beyond the sewing line.Foundation Paper Piecing Tutorial - Stitch

Remember to set your stitch length shorter than normal.  Usually around 15 - 18 stitches per inch.  This helps when paper piecing very small pieces together and make it easier to remove the paper later.

If the seam line ends at the seam allowance, sew all the way over the seam allowance.Foundation Paper Piecing Tutorial - Sew across seam allowance

STEP 6: Press seam open

Turn to the side with the fabric and press open the seam.  You can use a pressing stick or an iron.  I prefer to keep a small iron and little ironing board next to my sewing machine.  I can iron the piece open without getting up from my seat.  This helps the paper piecing project move faster. Foundation Paper Piecing Tutorial - Press seam open

STEP 7: Continue Adding Fabrics

Repeat steps 3 - 6 until all of the pieces for the block have been sewn. The next piece to sew would be the area marked as #3 on the pattern, so in step 3, fold the paper on the line between the area marked as #2 and #3.

Below is a photo of the finished block.Foundation Paper Piecing Tutorial - Finished Block

Do not remove the paper from your blocks until your entire project is completed. After everything has been stitched together, you can remove the paper.  The paper helps keep the blocks from stretching and also is good to use to line up the blocks when sewing them together.

This is an example of this finished paper pieced project.  We finished it into a table runner.Paper Pieced Quilted Table Runner

Paper Piecing Block or Quilt Samples

Some other examples of paper pieced blocks and projects are below.  Links to where to find the patterns are included.

First is a mini quilt pattern scrappy carrots.  The pattern is available for FREE from the website Diary of a Quilter and is by Amy Smart.  The guest blog post, Foundation Paper Pieced Carrots Mini Quilt by Leila Gardunia has a link to the free pattern to download and a full tutorial.  This is a perfect pattern for a beginner and fun to make. I added an extra border to my version of this mini quilt.

Paper Pieced Pattern - Carrot Placemat

Another fun and easy project to make are paper pieced veggie potholders.  Click the link to find out more about these super fun to make paper pieced potholders and to get the free pattern.Paper Pieced Pattern - Veggie Potholders

Next, are some fandom blocks we've made from Harry Potter and Star Wars. Keep reading to learn where to find these blocks.

Paper Pieced Pattern - Star Wars 3CPO Fandom Block

This is a 3CPO Star Wars Fandom block available on Fandom in Stitches.  This pattern was designed by Michelle Thompson and is rated as an advanced pattern.  All of the fandom block patterns are available for FREE.  Please abide by the terms of use on the Fandom site when using these patterns. 

Paper Pieced Pattern - Star Wars R2D2 Fandom Block

This is an R2D2 Star Wars Fandom block available on Fandom in Stitches.  This pattern was designed by Michelle Thompson and is rated as an advanced pattern.  All of the fandom block patterns are available for FREE.  Please abide by the terms of use on the Fandom site when using these patterns. 

Below are 3 Harry Potter Fandom Blocks available through Fandom in Stitches.  These blocks were made using patterns distributed under the Project of Doom by Jennifer Ofenstein.  All of the fandom block patterns are available for FREE.  Please abide by the terms of use on the Fandom site when using these patterns. 

Paper Pieced Pattern - Harry Potter Block 1

Paper Pieced Pattern - Harry Potter Block 2

Paper Pieced Pattern - Harry Potter Block 3

Another fun type of piecing which also uses foundation paper is String Piecing.  Learn how to String Piece with foundation paper by clicking the link to our tutorial page.

Foundatio Paper Piece Tutorial - pin

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Backyard Bird Quilts

Quilters and birders will love this book of stunning bird theme paper piecing projects. by Jodie Davis - Paperback - Published 2006 Affiliate Link to Amazon


A Year of Paper Piecing

Ideal for paper-piecing enthusiasts! Feature all 12 seasonal blocks in a queen-size calendar quilt or showcase the blocks one at a time on the interchangeable-block wall hanging. by Beverly Maxvill - Paperback - Published 2008


Add-A-Quarter Ruler

Add-A-Quarter Ruler will automatically add a seam allowance to any straight angle and provide a straight edge for your rotary cutter Affiliate Link to Sold at Amazon


Foundation Paper (Paper Piecing Paper)

Size 8 1/2" x 11". 100 sheets per package. Now you can reproduce paper-piecing patterns whenever you wish with the quality and convenience of these papers Affiliate Link to Sold at Amazon


Fun Foundation-Pieced Blocks

13 patterns with piecing steps and quilt layout ideas by Nancy Wick - Pamphlet - Published 2016

MH Designs

MH Designs produces a wide variety of paper foundation quilt patterns for all tastes and skill levels.


OLFA 18-Inch x 24-Inch Self-Healing Double-Sided Rotary Mat

Use only rotary cutters and blades,Suitable for any small to medium size project Affiliate Link to


Quilt Block Geometry

Quilt Block Geometry includes rotary cutting basics followed by block instructions for 13 different quick-pieced quilt blocks, all made from geometric shapes. by Nancy Wick - Paperback - Published 2016


Rotary Cutters

Purchase rotary cutters at Check out their selection. Affiliate Link to

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